Dr. Lawrence understands that visiting a McKinney family dental practice ranks fairly low on the list of favorite activities for most patients. Even though the American Dental Association and Dr. Lawrence recommend that patients continue visiting a dentist at least once every six months, many people feel such frequent visits are unnecessary, especially when they usually receive a healthy, cavity-free diagnosis.
If you’re wondering whether regular dental care actually matters, you should know about what’s at stake should you stop visiting our McKinney family dental practice. So you can better understand why regular visits to Dr. Lawrence really matter, here are a few reasons why dental care should rank as an important part of your plans now and into the future.
Oral Cancer Screenings
As with most forms of cancer, oral cancer can present patients with a life-threatening condition that must be caught early. Oral cancers have a disproportionally high mortality rate when compared to more common forms of the disease, such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and testicular cancer.
What makes oral cancer so problematic for patients is that the disease shows very few symptoms before advancing to a late stage where treatment options become less effective. Oral cancer simply doesn’t develop easy to see symptoms, often leading to a deadly late stage discovery.
Fortunately, Dr. Lawrence has the training necessary to spot the early signs of oral cancer. By receiving regular exams every six months, the likelihood of Dr. Lawrence spotting the signs of oral cancer early on are significantly higher than if you only visit the dentist once every few years.
What makes this so tragic is that when caught early, oral cancer has an incredibly high survival rate. So, even if you don’t think anything is wrong with your oral health, you never know what could be lurking below the surface that could cause significant problems in the future.
Removal of Plaque and Tartar Buildup
While brushing and flossing rank as the two most important daily hygiene habits that patients can practice to help maintain the health of their teeth and gums, even the most enthusiastic fans of practicing quality oral hygiene can fail to adequately clean all the areas of their mouths.
When plaque – a sticky biofilm made up of harmful oral bacteria and food particles that remain in the mouth after eating – is allowed to build up on the surface of your teeth it transforms into a calcified form called tartar. Tartar is a yellowish substance that not only discolors your teeth, it also causes gum tissue to become irritated and inflamed. This inflammation in turns leads to the development of early stage gum disease known as gingivitis.
During the early stages of gingivitis, gum tissue can begin to bleed, become swollen and tender to the touch. Like most oral health problems, gingivitis can become far more serious if not treated early on. When the disease is allowed to progress, it can develop into periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease and the leading cause of permanent tooth loss in adults.
Saves You Money
When left untreated, most oral health problems will only continue to worsen. By allowing tartar and plaque to continue building up on the surface of your teeth, you increase your risk for developing gum disease. If left unchecked, gum disease can cause pockets to develop along the gum line that will require more advanced treatments to correct. Additionally, a small cavity that develops can become progressively bigger, requiring a cap or crown to fix instead of a filling.
By scheduling regular exams, you can receive the preventative care needed to avoid the more expensive procedures that are required to repair a problem that was allowed to spiral out of control. Save yourself some money and help keep your teeth looking and feeling their best by continuing to schedule regular exams with Dr. Lawrence.